The significant difference between US and European pricing of Test Drive Unlimited is down to differences in installed bases and local pricing, Atari has said.
"The price in the US reflects the local Xbox 360 market situation", a spokesperson told Eurogamer today, primarily referring to the massive difference in the relative installed base sizes.
Earlier this month the company revealed that the US version of TDU on Xbox 360 would retail for $39.99, but subsequently admitted that the UK price was £49.99 - although actual high street and e-commerce prices will likely fall between £40 and £50.
"Additionally the US has a significantly larger Xbox 360 installed base, with a much bigger Xbox Live Gold membership," the spokesperson added.
In other words, it's possible for Atari to release a 360 game in the US at a lower-than-usual price and still make a decent return, but it simply isn't the same for them over here.
"Innovation should be available to everyone, not a privilege for those can afford high price tags," Atari CEO Bruno Bonnell said when the company announced the US price point. Perhaps it was a cry for help as much as anything.
Test Drive Unlimited is due out on Xbox 360, PC, PS2 and PSP later this year.